L'Origine du Monde and Sensorial Skin

‘L’origine du monde’ is an artistic representation of research into the possibilities of cyanobacteria and (micro) algae as source for renewable energy and novel biodegradable materials. The installation shows a strongly enlarged bacterial chain made from glass cells. Every cell is filled with cyanobacteria producing realtime photosynthesis. Together they form a complex microbial population that communicates via quorum sensing and reduces CO2 emission whilst producing oxygen and biopolymers.

The research was made at the Hybrid Forms Lab in Amsterdam, under the direction of Prof. Raoul Frese. The goal of 'Lorigine du Monde' is to power the long term research project 'the Intelligent Guerrilla Beehive'. The speculative project ‘Guerrilla Beehive 2.0′ is researching the possibilities of cyanobacteria for creating a biosensor. The bacteria grow a dense biofilm on the outer shell of the beehive. The bees scan the health of the environment while foraging. When the bees return to their nest and land on the outer shell of the beehive with possible pollution- or pesticide particles transported in their fur, they activate the bacteria in the biofilm. If the pollution is trespassing a specific degree, the bacteria in the biofilm will change color and as such give an alert.

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VERTIGO is funded under the H2020 European STARTS initiative, innovation at the nexus of Science, Technology, and the ARTS. STARTS promotes the arts as catalysts for efficient conversion of science and technology knowledge into products, services, and processes.